Econsultancy held the Behavioural Marketing Roundtable in Sydney on Wednesday, November 11 and dozens of client-side marketers came to discuss the trends, best practices, and issues they are facing.

Here's a summary of what was said.

But before we start let me quickly tell you that Econsultancy will be holding another Behavioural Marketing Roundtable in Melbourne on Friday, November 13.

Free and exclusively for client-side marketers, there are still a few spots available - so book your spot here now.

Behavioural Marketing Roundtable overview

At the Sydney event, held in collaboration with IBM Marketing Cloud, participants were divided into three tables, with each table concerned about one of the behavioural marketing topics under discussion: 

  • Marketing Automation: best practices & implementation.
  • Email Marketing: trends, challenges & best practices.
  • Behavioural Marketing.

After an hour or so of discussion, the participants rotated to another table, so everyone was able to discuss each topic with their peers.

At the end, the three discussion leaders presented a summary of what was discussed throughout the day. Here are their notes.

Marketing Automation: best practices & implementation

The Marketing Automation discussion was led by Jonathan Hayes, Digital Experience Manager, MetLife and here are the key points from the day.

It's still early days

The main point raised is that, for most marketers, it is still early days with regards to marketing automation.

 Instead of implementing marketing automation too early, they are focused on foundational tasks such as: 

  • Mapping the customer journeys
  • Developing the personas
  • Conducting manual tests 
  • And analysing results using small-footprint analytics tools 

Marketers are not yet ready for large-scale tools

The participants had a good grasp of the 'Ferrari-level' tools for marketing automation, but they were overall not sure which one they would use in these early stages.

Questions came up, like, what tools would I use right now? And how do I grow with it as my marketing automation grows?

They do need data analysts, though

Many marketing teams are also looking for resources to be able to deploy marketing automation at scale.  

They were particularly keen on hiring data analysts as they need people who can focus on building stories out of massive amount of customer data.

Having people who are comfortable being knee-deep in data will help them grow and evolve their program over time.

And they are getting ready to build a case

Even though it's still early days, marketers are working on building strategies to present to the business. One approach suggested was that marketing automation needs to be presented as a benefit to the business. 

So, when you do ask for more resources be sure to talk about the customer data you have collected, the lifetime value of the customers (LTV), and the potential ROI.

And again, to prepare for this inevitable presentation, mapping the customer journey is key and everyone can start doing this using simple Post-it notes. 

Email Marketing: trends, challenges & best practices

Marieken van Ewijk, Ebusiness Manager Oceania at Nestle Nespresso, was the discussion leader for the Email Marketing table and here are notes from her summary.

Marketers don't feel like pacesetters

Her first comment was that most of the participants were still either devising strategies or even lagging behind what they felt everyone else was doing.  

That is, there were few people who felt like they were email marketing 'pacesetters'.

No one felt like they had email marketing down-pat either, and most said that they were still learning the ropes.

They know what they need to know, though

When she looked at what was discussed throughout the morning, though, everyone had a good grasp of what is required for effective email marketing.

Subjects such as segmentation, customization, audience targeting, and dynamic content were all discussed throughout the day.

Email marketing ROI was mentioned as well, though most felt it was something they still looked at on a campaign-by-campaign basis.  

Few felt that they were able to sum up their overall email marketing ROI, annually.

And some best practices emerged

From the three tables, most agreed on the following best practices for email marketing:

  • Opt-in is essential. There is no point sending emails to people who have not given you permission to do so.
  • Try to develop an email lifecycle management program. It's always good to keep in regular email contact with your customers, but including some reference to previous emails or where they are in the buying stage is even better.
  • Segment before sending.  Don't blast an email to the entire base as most will find it irrelevant, and your untargeted email could damage your relationship. Instead try to send relevant emails regularly and you will find that you will have a much higher open, click, and engagement rate. 

Behavioural Marketing

And finally, Niklas Olsson, Director of Offline & Partnership Marketing, HotelQuickly presented a summary of the discussions on the main topic of the day, Behavioural Marketing.

First, they came up with a simple definition

Behavioural Marketing, according to the three-table consensus, is simply building a profile of your users over time using their actions as a way to understand them better.

For example, if someone on your site browses products more suitable for a man than a woman, try showing them the male products first next time and see what happens.  

It really can be that simple to get started.

Then, they talked about relationships

So, behavioural marketing is all about getting to know someone.  But in order for this to happen we need to collect data and analyse it.

It's not easy to do either, but the way to start is to find various ways you can collect data of people who use your site.  

You can get IP addresses from visits, personal information during transactions, and even more customer details if you liaise with your sales department. 

And for what you don't get from any other means, just ask!  

Sometimes being upfront about what you need to provide better service is the best way to start building a relationship.

Finally, once you have good data about your customers and revamp your marketing, don't be discouraged if your metrics don't immediately change.  

Context (e.g. time of day) is very important, so be sure to change your approach a few times before giving up on your segments.

And then there's the management issue

It was largely agreed that management typically don't understand behavioural marketing and, as a result, don't offer the necessary support to deploy it.

But instead of complaining about it, we should just admit that is a fact we have to deal with and come up with a solution.

One helpful suggestion was that marketers should dig deep in their data and the journey of one customer which was undeniably perfect.  

Then show the management the depth of your analysis and simply state that if we could get more customers were like that we make $x more money.  It's hard to refute such an argument!

And finally...

The participants did point out that if you want to see good behavioural marketing in action then look at Amazon and Netflix.

But, they confessed, it's hard to get to where they are. Even buying a Christmas present for your best friend is hard - what can we possibly do for people who we hardly know?

The answer, of course, is map more journeys, get more data, and do your best to improve the former with what you learn from the latter.

A word of thanks

Thanks to all who contributed - and we hope to get some more great insight from the Melbourne event on Friday!

Jeff Rajeck

Published 12 November, 2015 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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